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Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) President Kevin M. Rampe, City Council Member Alan Gerson and students from P.S. 126 to cut the ribbon on the reconstruction of the gym floor at Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center. Funding for the project, which cost nearly $270,000, was allocated by LMDC.
"This professional-quality new gym floor marks the completion of a wonderful transformation at the Al Smith Recreation Center," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Thanks to the continued support of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, we are making tremendous strides in the revitalization of downtown parks."
"The new indoor basketball floor at Al Smith Recreation Center will offer another multi-use recreation space for Lower Manhattan's families to enjoy," said LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe. "Recreational spaces such as the indoor gym and the recently renovated Al Smith playground are so important to communities, which is why our rebuilding efforts include the creation or renovation of over a dozen different open spaces from Chinatown to the Battery, made possible under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg."
The completion of the gym floor is the final step in the $1.8 million reconstruction of Al Smith Playground and Recreation Center. The floor’s renovation included the removal of the original wood gymnasium floor and the installation of maple strip flooring. The gym floor includes game lines and markers.
LMDC has allocated $24.6 million to create or enhance 13 different green spaces in Lower Manhattan. The reconstruction of Governor Al Smith Playground is the sixth project to be completed as part of the LMDC allocation. Five more projects will be substantially completed by this spring. Other recently completed projects include renovations at the East River Ballfields, Tribeca Park, Bowling Green Park and Washington Market Park.
Al Smith made history in 1918 when he was elected the first Irish Catholic Governor of New York. He made history again in 1928 when he was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate. After losing to Herbert Hoover, Smith returned to New York City, where he maintained an active lifestyle in civics. Al Smith Playground was dedicated in June 1950.